Slain Durban University of Technology (DUT) student Mlungisi Madonsela’s family is reeling in pain and disappointment with the justice system following the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to withdraw charges against the accused in his murder case.
On Tuesday the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced that it won’t be prosecuting security guards who were under investigation for the killing of the Durban University of Technology student, who was killed earlier this year following a scuffle that broke out between students and private security guards.
The NPA said its decision came after not enough evidence was found to prove the murder charge against the accused, two security gurads employed by Excellent Security Services.
“The charges were withdrawn against the accused due to insufficient evidence to prove the elements of the crime of murder. The matter has been referred for an inquest, the NPA will wait for the findings of the inquest,” NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara told the Daily Vox.
Public management student Madonsela was fatally shot during a protest action outside Steve Biko Campus on February 5. It is believed that he was shot by a stray bullet from a security guard during a confrontation.
Madonsela’s family has expressed shock and dissatisfaction on the NPA’s decision, saying justice is only for the monied.
“We received the news but we are still confused. So many things have confused us since the day of his death because none of the stories given ro us make sense. At first, we were told that the guards had shot on air and the bullet went astray, but when the guard gave his own statement he said he shot on the ground.
“What makes this difficult for us to accept is the fact that no one has bothered to communicate with us, even on the day he was killed we were only told after he had died. We couldn’t even make means to be there at the hospital, ensuring he was receiving necessary medical attention,” Sabelo Mkhwanazi said.
Mkhwanazi said the family is yet to decide what will happen next because “Even if we wish to challenge the NPA’s decision, we don’t know where to start and which doors to approach. We don’t have enough information. It’s sad how justice is never served when you don’t have money,” he said.
Madonsela died at the Durban City Hospital, where his fellow Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFsc) students had rushed him too after the shooting.
The EFFsc has expressed dissatisfaction with the withdrawal of charges, saying a life of a student is not valued in South Africa.
EFFsc chairperson Khanyisani Khambule said “It was youth day not so long ago, where we were celebrating students who died fighting for the right of a black student, but it is still happening, we are still dying. It doesn’t make sense that a student can be killed on campus but there’s no one to account for that loss. But we won’t let this one go, if we have to challenge it in court, we will.”
The NPA says there’s not enough evidence to prosecute the two security guards accused of killing DUT student Mlungisi Madonsela.